Morning Sun

Morning Sun, A Documentary Film

The film Morning Sun attempts in the space of a two-hour documentary film to create an inner history of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (c.1964-1976). It provides a multi-perspective view of a tumultuous period as seen through the eyes—and reflected in the hearts and minds—of members of the high-school generation that was born around the time of the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, and that came of age in the 1960s. Others join them in creating in the film’s conversation about the period and the psycho-emotional topography of high-Maoist China, as well as the enduring legacy of that period.

Morning Sun is not a comprehensive or chronological history of the Cultural Revolution as such; nor is it a study of elite politics or of student factionalism. The film essays rather a psychological history. It attempts a cinematic account of experiences and emotions as reflected on by historical actors who themselves were enacting a history that they had learned and wished to recreate in their own lives. It is also a film about the cultures and convictions, as well as the historical events, that created the impetus, language, style and content of the period—the films and plays, the music and ideas, the rhetoric and ideologies, the education and the aspirations, the frustrations and fantasies, as well as the realities and ardor, that a new revolution that attempted to remake revolution itself entailed.

View an excerpt from Morning Sun on Youtube.

Major funding for Morning Sun was provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities, with additional funds from ITVS/Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the George D. Smith Fund, the Center for Asian American Media (formerly NAATA), and the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities.

Morning Sun is a presentation of the Independent Television Service (ITVS) and the Center for Asian American Media (formerly NAATA), with the participation of ARTE and the BBC.

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